Answer to "How to sequence and weight different tools within a selection process?"

When more than one selection tool is used, how these tools are used (e.g., sequenced) and weighted must be considered.  There is little research into this area of medical education, although what evidence there is clearly identifies that diverse ways of weighting these tools (e.g., 50% for prior attainment, 30% aptitude test and 20% SJT; or a hurdle model of “… if over x score on y tool(s), then through to the next stage”) will lead to different outcomes in terms of the population selected:

  • Fielding S, Tiffin PA, Greatrix R, Lee AJ, Patterson F, Nicholson S, Cleland JA. Do changing medical admissions practices in the UK impact on who is admitted? An interrupted time series analysis.  In press, BMJ Open (June 2018).

  • Tiffin PA, Dowell JS, McLachlan JC.  Widening access to UK medical education for under-represented socioeconomic groups: modelling the impact of the UKCAT in the 2009 cohort.  BMJ 2012; 344 doi:

There needs to be much more research examining the impacts of different weightings of admissions procedures on the equity and value of the overall selection process and widening access (see below). 

For those “on the ground”, it is useful to think about the outcomes you want in your graduates and the mission of your medical school when thinking about weighting different selection tools.  If you privilege personal qualities highly, then assessment of these should be heavily weighted in the assessment process.  If your mission is to produce doctors who are very good academically (i.e., go on to perform strongly in Board/College examinations, see below) then consider privileging prior attainment/GPA in the process.

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